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J Neurochem. 1992 Aug;59(2):733-9.

MK-801 prevents 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-induced parkinsonism in primates.

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Institute of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Pisa, Italy.


In cynomologus monkeys, systemic administration of MK-801, a noncompetitive antagonist for the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, prevented the development of the parkinsonian syndrome induced by the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). MK-801 also attenuated dopamine depletion in the caudate and putamen and protected dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra from the degeneration induced by the neurotoxin. Nevertheless, 7 days after MPTP administration in the caudate and putamen of monkeys also receiving MK-801, the levels of toxic 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium were even higher than those measured in monkeys receiving MPTP alone. This indicates that the protective action of MK-801 is not related to MPTP metabolism and strongly suggests that, in primates, the excitatory amino acids could play a crucial role in the mechanism of the selective neuronal death induced by MPTP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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